Jethro Tull     "Thick As A Brick"    Chrysalis 1972    Remastered CD $15.75/Used CD $7.75/Used LP $Email
I got turned on to this masterpiece by a friend in High School. Believe it or not, the school library had the LP! The lyrics are amusing and witty, including references to Superman, Batman and Robin, (Robin DAY was a BBC journalist by the way), and the boy scout manual. Ian Andersonís flute and vocals never sounded better. The original LP sleeve is a multi-page parody of a local English village newspaper. Thick As A Brick is a single song - 43:44 minutes, but the remastered CD contains a live version of the same and an interview with Ian Anderson.
     
  Yes    "Close To The Edge"    Atlantic 1972     Remastered CD $13.75
The 19-minute title track alone is one of Yes' finest works, a monstrous, dramatic, adventurous work that keeps you held in it's grip from fade-in to fade-out. "And You And I" is a wonderful concert staple that really shows off the brilliance of Jon Anderson's unique voice, and the album concludes with probably my all time favorite -  "Siberian Khatru", a popular Yes rocker. The line-up for this record was the aforementioned Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford and Eddie Offord's brilliant co-production. The remastered CD contains the single versions of America and Total Mass Retain, an alternate version of And You And I and Siberia (a studio run-through of Siberian Khatru).
     
  Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Brain Salad Surgery" Manticore 1973     Remastered CD $14.75/Used CD $7.75/Used LP $Email
Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends.....This is it, the incredible work the ELP is famous for and rightly so. The album begins with a breathtaking adapation of the Hymn "Jerusalem". The next song is the wild "Toccata" featuring the drums of Carl Palmer. "Still...You Turn Me On" is a beautiful Greg Lake ballad followed by the silly but fun, "Benny The Bouncer". The album concludes with the 3 Impressions of "Karn Evil 9" the futuristic carnival - Come inside, the show's about to start Guaranteed to blow your head apart Rest assured you'll get your money's worth The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll. The Rhino remastered CD has an ELP Interview and a 3-D cover!
     
  King Crimson  "In The Court Of The Crimson King" Atlantic 1969     Remastered CD $14.75
This is the debut from 1969 featuring founder and guitarist Robert Fripp, lyricist Peter Sinfield, percussionist Michael Giles, lead vocals and bassist Greg Lake, and Ian McDonald, who entertains with a variety of instruments, including woodwinds and keyboards. The opening number, "21st Century Schizoid Man" is an incredible beginning to a wonderful work. 'I Talk To the Wind' is a Greg Lake ballad, matched with the whimsical 'Moonchild.' Between those two is the album's centerpiece, 'Epitaph,' with its musical strength and Sinfield's brilliantly poetic and somber lyrics. The closing track, the epic 'The Court of the Crimson King' closes a fantastic album perfectly, its operatic tones reaching heights never before seen in 1969. The booklet of this remastered special edition comes with rare photos and newspaper/magazine clippings about the band.
 
     
  Pink Floyd   "Atom Heart Mother" Harvest 1970     Remastered CD $16.75
The six episodes of the title track are the very essence of prog-rock - a spaced out, free-flowing fantasy piece complete with a chorus. Then we get a Roger Waters number,  followed  by one from Richard Wright that could have been a Kinks song, then more moody folk from Gilmour. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" has some Meddle-esque melodies with lots of cooking sounds and talking (very strange)  There's a range of emotion here, from doleful to crazed to humorous. This is a important piece of Pink Floyd history as they progress along from the Syd beginnings to the Dark Side and beyond.
     
  Ambrosia   "Ambrosia"  20th Century 1975   New CD $12.75
Ambrosia first made their name with this album of progressive rock with a pop music twist. Its songs skillfully blend strong melodic hooks and smooth vocal harmonies with music of an almost symphonic density. Good examples of this crossbreeding are "Drink of Water," which sounds like the Beach Boys tackling a Pink Floyd space rock epic, and "Nice, Nice, Very Nice," which utilizes a combination of stately close-harmony vocals and dynamic instrumental breaks to put forth a clever lyric derived from a Kurt Vonnegut novel. The complexity of the music is further highlighted by its crystal-clear sonic landscape, mixed by Alan Parsons, which highlights unique touches like the use of a Russian balalaika ensemble and 300-year-old Javanese gongs on "Time Waits for No One." - Allmusic.com
     
  Gentle Giant   "Octopus" Columbia 1973  New CD $10.75
Their fourth album has a harder, more rocking edge, making a striking contrast with their more symphonic third album. No doubt the reason was the introduction of John Weathers on drums. The album still contains a wide variety of sounds and textures, from the rocking power of The Advent Of Panurge to the vocal intricacies of Knots to the beauty of Think Of Me With Kindness. The title was allegedly invented by Phil Shulman's wife, Roberta. It is short for "Octo Opus," or eight musical works. The album was released with a Roger Dean cover in the UK, and the "octopus in a jar" cover in the USA (as the CD) by Charles White.

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